Community Breakthrough Support Mission is excited to announce Margaret Biketi as the new Project Manager within our Woman and Youth Empowerment Program!  Margaret has been with CBSM since 2008 as Head Mistress in our school and will now be taking on an exciting new role in our Empowerment Program.

“When I started at CBSM we only had 30 children and a lot of hope to impact the lives of the hundreds of needy children in the area,” explains Margaret.  Since then CBSM is proud to support and teach more than 350 students at our school.  “Because of the great success of our school project I hope that our Woman and Youth Empowerment Program will grow to help the lives of others within the community just like our school has.”  

Margaret has been working closely with Zaida our accountant and leader of our Woman’s Table Banking Group to communicate with the woman involved in these projects to understand their needs, ideas and short and long term goals.  

CBSM has 10 active groups of woman in our table banking program that meet weekly and pool together funds that a member or members may borrow for a fixed amount of time with interest to invest as each group sees fit.  Some women use this money for short term projects and/or to invest in various tools/materials etc. to boost their personal businesses.  Businesses vary from agriculture, selling second hand clothing and farm products, brick making, shops and a food hotel.  

These businesses have been a lifeline for many woman and their families as it is their primary and sometimes only source of income. Margaret will be working closely with the table banking groups to provide materials, education and other tools to help them expand and improve their businesses.  

Margaret is excited to dive into her new role, “I am really looking forward to helping the groups and understand how to improve our programs for them so they can experience success.” 

CBSM is so thankful for Margaret’s determination, passion and positive energy and believes that she is the perfect person to lead our program to long term sustainable success!

Please check back for updates of the woman involved in these programs and how you can support them!

written by Lia Hadley

I'd like to post a profile of one of the women in CBSM whose hard work and active participation has done much to build a strong community over the last years. Janerose Kuya epitimises how the empowerment of women does not stay with the one, but its goodness spreads to many.

Janerose Kuya is the business leader in one of our Village Phone Salons (VPS) situated in Baraki Area at the Kuywa Junction about 20 kilometres away from Kimilili, Kenya. She and her husband are the main caretakers of their nine children and four grandchildren. They have four acres of land; half of which they plant with maize and beans for livestock fodder and to sell in the market five kilometers away. The other two acres they use as a homestead and kitchen garden. They also keep cows, sheep, and a few goats.

Janerose started in June 2009 the self-help women’s co-op to improve women’s incomes. They opened up their VPS with the help of a private micro-loan (150 USD). In the first six months, they experienced many challenges and successes as local Village Phone Operators (VPOs). The initial challenges resulted from the nation-wide drought, since people
did not use phone services when they needed to use what money they had to pay for food. It was also difficult for the VPS to establish regular customers due to strong competition.

Yet there have also been many successes. Janerose’s co-op was able to pay off their micro-loan early. They received enough income from the VPS that all of the co-op members’ families were given sufficient supplies of milk during the famine months. Since the harvest late last August, there has been a steady increase in the number of regular
customers and, as a result, an increase in income for the co-op members.

Janerose has become a role model of a successful businesswoman within the community. She is now a group leader in a women’s gardening co-op. She has not only discovered new friends through this venture, but she has also achieved a new standing within the
circle of community elders.

If you want to read more about Janerose and her women's co-op please download this pdf.
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by Rev. Wasike

We are very excited to inform you that various people have made donations of drip irrigation kits for families or small-scale garden co-ops in Kimilili. Dr. Thomas Winkler from Germany has generously donated the funds for a drip irrigation kit. Dr. Rikea Schoen from Germany held an open house for her veterinary practice and sold cake and coffee to all who came. The money earned on this day is also sufficient to buy a family drip irrigation kit.

Lia organised a Tea Party for Kimilili last weekend. Over fifty people came to enjoy the last of the sunny autumn weather. The donations given during this event will, hopefully, suffice to pay for the two planned workshops we are holding at the end of the month and three family drip irrigation kits.

The children and guardians of Community Breakthrough Support Mission had a very difficult time this past spring and summer due to food shortages. Now that it looks as though the drought conditions will persist into next year, the donations of drip irrigation kits will change the lives of the children from one threatened by hunger to a prosperous one.